When Jenny handed me these Clover Kanzashi Flower Makers at CHA, I knew that Iâ€™d be reviewing them during National Sewing Month, but I had no idea how great the timing would be! As it turns out, a few weeks later, my husband was nominated for an Emmy, and I suddenly found myself making my own evening gown.
So, the kanzashi flowers I made during this review are actually the finishing decorative details for my dress and shoes, and Iâ€™ll be wearing them this weekend when I head to Hollywood! Iâ€™m incredibly pleased by how well the templates worked, and how beautifully the flowers turned out, even with my slippery satin material.
For this review, I tested the Small Size Pointed Petal Kanzashi Flower Maker and the Large Size Pointed Petal Kanzashi Flower Maker, but there are several other styles and shapes available from Clover. The large size creates a flower that is approximately 3â€ in diameter, and the small size creates a flower that is approximately 2â€ in diameter. Each template costs around $6.00.
According to the package and instructions:
Kanzashi is a traditional Japanese art form of folding and stitching fabric petals for use in beautiful hair adornments.
Simply set, cut and sew to create beautiful Kanzashi Flowers!
What youâ€™ll need
â€¢ Fabric, scissors, sewing needle, strong hand sewing thread
Thin to regular thickness fabric: cotton, sheetings, broadcloths, silk, thin satin, organdy, crepe, think wool, lace (fine stitch), etc.
Medium-thick to thick fabric: denim, canvas, felt, thick wool, corduroy, pile fabric, knit, leather or synthetic leather, coated fabric, lace (wide stitch), etc.
*Hard fabric is not suitable.
Each Kanzashi Flower is made of five individual petals that are strung together on the same piece of thread. The process couldnâ€™t be simpler: to make a petal, fold a piece of fabric in half and insert it into the flower template. Then, using a pair of sharp fabric scissors, cut off the excess fabric around the edges. Next, sew the petal, following the numbers on the template. Finally, tug on the thread to shape the petal, then repeat the whole process four more times, until there are five petals on the thread. Finish the flower by sewing the last petal to the first, tightening the thread to secure the pleats and shape the flower.
What I loved:
1. Making the flower petals was every bit as easy as the instructions promised. As long as you have fabric squares, a needle, and thread, you can make a flower!
3. The sewing holes are clearly labeled and the sewing order is easy to understand.
4. I had good results with different types of fabrics. I tried thicker cotton fabric, slippery satin, and sheer organza, and all of them worked well with the template.
4. The templates are inexpensive. They’re around $6.00 a pop and are made of sturdy plastic.
5. The flowers are lovely and professional-looking.
6. You can stack multiple flower layers to create your own personalized flower designs. (I sewed mine, but you can also use fabric glue or hot glue.)
What I didnâ€™t love:
1. Because youâ€™re using the same piece of thread to make each petal, itâ€™s easy to get the thread tangled while sewing the next petal.
2. Slippery fabric can move around a bit when youâ€™re cutting off the edges, which means that youâ€™ll have to re-center before sewing.
What I learned:
1. Thicker, less slippery fabrics created the most attractive, consistent petals.
2. Two layers of thread works better than the one layer described in the instructions.
3. Thinner fabrics may look better with more than five petals.
I thought the Kanzashi Flower Makers were a great tool and an excellent value. They worked just as described, produced reliably consistent petals, and were easy to use, requiring no special skills to get the desired results.
Keep an eye out for these babiesâ€”they’ll be coming soon to a red carpet near you!